I am interested in the health and culture of the early and central middle ages in Europe, and am currently working on two major research projects:

  • Effaced from History? Facial Difference and its Impact from Antiquity to the Present Day, a collaborative project that has already received Seed funding from the Wellcome Trust and which incorporates my own research on medieval disfigurement. Project blog here.
  • The Enclosed Garden: Pleasure, Contemplation and Cure in the Medieval Hortus Conclusus (PI Professor Liz Herbert McAvoy), in which my role is to explore examples of historical enclosed gardens and their owners. Project blog here.

I first joined Swansea in an honorary capacity in the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Research (MEMO) in 2011.

Research groups: MEMO at Swansea; Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship; Society for the Study of the Medieval Mediterranean; Society for the Social History of Medicine


  1. Looking for Burn Victims or Survivors in Medieval Europe. In Trauma in Medieval Society. (pp. 93-104). Leiden: Brill.
  2. Corpora and cultural transmission? Political uses of the body in Norman texts, 1050-1150. In People, Texts and Artefacts: Cultural Transmission in the Medieval Norman Worlds, edited by David Bates, Eduardo d'Angelo and Elisabeth van Houts. (pp. 213-229). London: Institute of Historical Research.
  3. & Strange Fruits: Grafting, Foreigners and the Garden Imaginary in Northern France and Germany, 1250-1350. Speculum
  4. Studying Gender in Medieval Europe: Historical Approaches. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  5. Sexuality. In A Cultural History of Western Medieval Empires, edited by Matthew Gabriele. (pp. 00-00). London: Bloomsbury.

See more...


  • HIH117 Medieval Europe: an introduction

    The module is a basic introduction to the history of Europe c600-c1450, a period usually described as 'Medieval'. It outlines the political and economic structures of the period, and examines the medieval 'world view' by discussing attitudes to life, death and the afterlife. Its first theme, expansion, charts the growth of Europe as a major world power and includes topics such as the crusades against the Muslims and pagans, political and economic growth, and intellectual development in the foundation of the universities. Its second theme, crisis, focuses on the devastating impact of plague, famine and warfare, and the increasing persecution of heretics, lepers, homosexuals, and Jews.

  • HIH2019 Gendering the Middle Ages: Power and Exclusion

    This module introduces gender theory as it has been applied to medieval culture. It traces the development of gender studies from early attempts at medieval women's history through successive `waves┬┐ of feminist studies, to gendered approaches which broadened considerations to include masculinity, sexuality and transgender identities. Exploring case studies from the 5th to the 15th centuries, the course will introduce students to the processes by which many voices have been excluded from traditional medieval histories, offering an alternative view from the perspective of the disempowered.

  • HIMM01 Introduction to Advanced Medieval Studies 1: Skills and Approaches

    This module introduces students to recent and current trends in medieval studies, to the research skills required for MA-level research, and to the medieval heritage of South Wales and the surrounding region. Seminars will consider the nature of medieval sources and texts, and a selection of themes that have made a significant impact upon medieval studies in recent years.

  • HIMM04 Introduction to Advanced Medieval Studies 2: Themes and Sources

    This module aims to apply the skills and approaches learned in the module HIMM01: Introduction to Advanced Medieval Studies 1: Skills and Approaches to a range of important themes in Medieval Studies, including gender, identity, laws and customs, spirituality, heritage. The module is interdisciplinary and draws on historical, literary and visual sources. The content of the module will be arranged in 2-weekly blocks, with the first week in each block dedicated to introducing students to the specific theme and the second week being used as a practical application of this knowledge to a source or text.

  • ML-M08 Gender and Culture: An introduction

    This module provides an overview of the main stages in the development of gender theory. It proposes the view that the study of history and culture through the prism of gender represents a genuine paradigm shift and introduces key contemporary issues such as the body, masculinity, and gender in visual, literary and material culture and the media. Students will be introduced to a range of theories and cultural contexts, and encouraged to use such concepts as starting points for their own areas of investigation concerning gender.


  • Representations of the Mouth in Medieval Health and Culture (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Laura Kalas Williams
  • Recorded Responses to Epilepsy in the Late Antique and Medieval Period (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof David Turner

External Responsibilities